Are your campaigns and advertising efforts going nowhere fast? You may need the help of a healthcare marketing expert if:
- You’ve been struggling to come up with new, innovative ideas that actually work,
- You’ve been throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks (e.g., you don’t have a real strategy), and
- You’re spending tons of time and energy for little or no return on investment for your healthcare marketing dollars.
If you can relate to any of the statements above, you’ve come to the right place. This article will help you understand when to hire a pro and what to look for in a new partner.
Signs you should hire a healthcare marketing expert
The healthcare industry is expanding, and many providers are competing for the same patients. That’s not surprising, considering there are 784,626 companies in the United States healthcare sector, and 75% of all hospitals have a competitor within 15 miles.
When you’re feeling the pressure of increased competition, consider these indicators that it might be time to hire a healthcare marketing expert:
Decrease in patient volume
Sometimes, when your patient volume is plummeting, it’s an indication that your marketing efforts aren’t effective. A healthcare marketing expert can help to brainstorm ideas that lead to success.
Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Wisconsin. When facing decreased brand awareness and low patient volume in certain regions, their marketing team launched a multi-channel campaign that included TV commercials, print ads, billboards, and social media posts focused on promoting Aurora’s high-quality care and patient satisfaction ratings.
As a result of the campaign, Aurora saw a 37% increase in patient volume in targeted regions and increased brand recognition.
Lack of brand awareness
Patients won’t be coming your way if they don’t know about you or hear about your competitors first. Targeted marketing campaigns improve brand awareness and attract new patients by highlighting your strengths and unique selling points. The key is differentiating yourself from competitors and increasing your visibility among your target audience.
Anne Arundel’s Medical Center did an excellent job of increasing brand awareness with its Stachie Facebook contest. In November, participants were asked to post their best “stachie”—or a selfie with a real or fake mustache—to social media to support men’s health. This campaign drove traffic to the medical center’s Men’s Health page, which housed other engaging content such as podcasts, events calendar, and blog.
An inefficient website
An ineffective website prevents patients from getting the information they are seeking, such as an appointment, referral, or request for more information.
According to Wordstream, 71% of patients say they will look for another provider if a website doesn’t have easily-accessible information about office hours or services
Mayo Clinic has been recognized as one of the best hospital websites by blogs like Intechnic and Frysite. It features four “above-the-fold” calls to action and an easy-to-understand navigation preventing information from getting cluttered. Visitors are coming to the website for various reasons, and the home page acts as a hub that directs traffic where it needs to go.
Ineffective or non-existent patient engagement
If a healthcare organization doesn’t engage with its patients, it can lead to trust and credibility issues, a decline in patient satisfaction, and decreased loyalty.
United Healthcare launched its We Dare You campaign that challenged website followers with monthly dares, quizzes, and prizes. They encouraged followers to make one small healthy habit change and share it on social media. This multi-award-winning campaign led to healthier habits and an engaged community of brand loyalists.
Inconsistent social media presence
A hospital or healthcare organization with a limited or inconsistent social media presence will struggle to reach new patients, engage with its audience and build trust.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital is the only pediatric center in the state. They use social media consistently to build vibrant communities where families, children, and hospital staff feel included and welcomed.
Using this approach, they have pushed aside hospital speak and stock photos. Their team has taken a more authentic approach. In the hospital’s feed, you’ll see pictures of real people—doctors, staff members, and volunteers—who are working “behind the scenes” to help kids and loved ones feel comforted and safe.
No data analytics or reporting
You won’t really know if your marketing efforts are working if you don’t measure them. Going with your gut or general impression may give you a hint, but measuring your ROI is challenging without concrete numbers.
First, look at the data you are collecting (if any) to improve your data collection efforts. Is there an opportunity to streamline information and avoid duplicate records? Identify gaps in your data and develop new ways to collect it. Then, set up a consistent collection, analysis, and reporting system that you and your team can interpret and share with others.
Being overshadowed by competition
Successful healthcare marketing campaigns are ones that patients remember months or even years later because they have made themselves different from the competition.
It’s essential that your organization emphasizes exceptional patient care and the unique services or approach to care that you offer. Use creative healthcare marketing campaigns to communicate your successes and build trust through your brand.
Qualities to look for in your when hiring a healthcare marketing expert to be your partner
With so much competition, it’s vital to hire the right healthcare marketing agency to guide you. But you won’t want to trust your organization’s time, money, and reputation with just anyone.
Here are eight expert traits to look for in your healthcare marketing partner:
- Knowledge and experience
Single out the pros with a solid understanding of the healthcare industry, policies, regulations, and marketing trends.
Select an agency with a team who can think outside the box and develop new and unique ideas.
- Excellent communication skills
Choose a healthcare marketing expert who can check in consistently and have open and honest conversations—verbal and nonverbal.
- Data expertise
Look for a partner who knows how to collect, analyze, and make decisions based on analytics.
- Attention to detail
The little things matter. Give priority to partners who will leave no stone unturned when dealing with complex information and procedures.
- Positive reviews
Opinions of past customers speak volumes. If case studies aren’t on the website of a healthcare marketing expert that you’re considering, ask them for testimonials. You may also look at directory sites, like Clutch, to get this information.
- Relevant credentials
Before you decide on an agency, evaluate its certifications, awards, and professional affiliations.
- Passion for healthcare
Narrow down to potential partners with a genuine desire to improve patient outcomes, accessibility, and improving the lives of others.
When you vet potential healthcare marketing partners, have all of your ducks in a row. Before approaching a new agency, make sure you:
- Understand your goals
Take time to identify your group’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as what you want to achieve.
- Hire for value alignment
Ignore the agencies that throw around healthcare marketing buzzwords. Instead, choose an agency that aligns with your values and culture. That way, it will be easier to trust their team and feel comfortable working with them as a partner.
- Check out portfolios
Look for healthcare marketing examples from the agency. They can serve as a great way to see for yourself what type of campaigns an agency is capable of creating. Look for signs they do the kind of work that will enhance—and help you grow—your brand reputation.
Hire a healthcare marketing expert
A healthcare marketing expert understands your industry and knows how to achieve success. Tired of spinning your wheels and wasting time and money? The healthcare marketing and branding agency that’s right for your organization can turn your well-intended efforts into tangible results.
TBH Creative is the answer
Ready to place your trust in an expert? TBH Creative is a full-service creative marketing agency ready to listen, work collaboratively with you, and execute your vision.
Let’s get started. Give us a call today.